NEW PORT RICHEY, FL (WFLA/CNN/RNN) - Two Florida families are homeless after a large sinkhole opened up between their houses on Wednesday.
Officials responded to the area and deemed both structures unsafe, but no other homes are threatened.
No one was inside either house when the 20-foot deep, 40-foot wide hole formed.
The families did not accept Red Cross assistance and are instead making other arrangements.
Sinkholes form when ground water circulates through and dissolves certain types of soft rock, usually limestone, salt, gypsum, anhydrite and dolomite.
As the rocks dissolve, caverns form and eventually, there is not enough strength to support the land above, triggering a sinkhole.
A sudden collapse can vary in size from a few feet to hundreds of acres and can range from 1- to 100-feet deep.
Human activity can also trigger sinkholes, where groundwater pumping, new construction and development and groundwater manipulation occur.